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Use of Mathematical Models to Evaluate Management Options for Reducing PCB Bioaccumulation by Fish in Two Streams at the Neal's Landfill Site, Bloomington, IN

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Neal's Landfill received PCB-containing wastes that originated from a Westinghouse Plant in Bloomington, IN. PCBs have been transported to the groundwater beneath the site and into two nearby streams: Conard's Branch and Richland Creek, and consequently, PCBs have impacted the water, sediments, and fish of these streams. Remedial actions conducted at the site have included removal of significant threat material from the landfill, landfill capping, sediment removal and construction of a Spring Treatment Facility (STF) to collect and treat base spring flow. These actions have achieved significant reductions in fish PCB concentrations. Since these remedial actions, CBS, Inc. has been conducting an evaluation of options to achieve additional reductions of PCB levels in fish within these two streams.

The evaluation of potential future remedial actions to further reduce PCB levels within the fish of Conard's Branch and the upper portion of Richland Creek requires a quantitative means of linking fish tissue PCB concentrations with the remaining sources of PCBs to the fish. A mechanistic mathematical model was developed to assess the impact of management options for reducing fish PCB concentrations. The model framework consists of sub-models that simulate hydrodynamics, sediment transport, PCB fate and transport, and PCB bioaccumulation. The submodels were calibrated and validated independently to various data sets from multiple locations, including variations in stream stage height, water column PCB and suspended sediment concentrations during low flow and storm flows, and tissue PCB concentrations of two fish species.

The calibrated model provides a quantitative tool to help understand the important PCB fate and transport mechanisms within the system and properly focus the evaluation of remedial alternatives. The model has been used to simulate the long-term response of fish tissue PCB concentrations to remedial strategies consisting of varying levels of increased STF treatment and storage capacity, as well as additional measures to address base flow sources such as bank seepage and in-stream sediments.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2175/193864706783751393

Publication date: January 1, 2006

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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